Line in the Sand- October Vogue 2017

Line in the Sand is the title of the editorial shoot by Jack Davison that appeared in October’s UK Vogue. It’s a campaign that I wouldn’t have normally given much attention to if I hadn’t been set it as a research task by uni.

Generally I’d describe my aesthetic as ‘pretty’. I am drawn to luxurious textures, heavy detailing and the type of shoots I tend to favour are ones with a ‘fairytale’ vibe. Tim Walker’s style generally speaks to me more than what I have so far seen of Davison’s work.

Tim Walker

An example of Tim Walker’s work.

It’s not that I dislike Davison’s ‘Line in the Sand Shoot’ by any means but the images are just….. strange. That’s the only word to describe the way that the images make me feel.

 They make me feel slightly confused due to the lack of a clear narrative. But at the same time this is a good thing as it gives the viewer more freedom to create their own narrative and interpretation. There is a sort of trance, dreamlike feel to the photographs and I feel that if there is a concept to accompany these images, it’s that the models are in some sort or trance or under a spell as their faces lack emotion yet their expressions remain focused at the same time. I mean, I struggle to find any other explanation as to why they are dressed in full length gowns at the beach and paddling about in trench coats.

Despite the quirkiness, there is a softness and vulnerability seen in the images. The model’s bare breasts are exposed in several images but there is nothing provocative or sexual about the way this is done. The naked flesh creates Garden of Eden comparisons in my mind rather than erotic ones as I feel that the naivety and innocence portrayed by  the models compares to that of Adam and Eve.

The use of contrast in the shoot is interesting as Davison flits between the use of the nude body and clothing. Davison’s clear photographic style seen here is also consistent with his other works as all of the images are grayscale or sepia which in my opinion aslo furthers the innocent feel of the images. The interesting use of lighting and shadows is a distinctive feature to his work and the ‘Line in the Sand’ shoot is no exception. His use of the paperchain of hands in this shoot as a prop has clearly been chosen to help exaggerate this feature of Davison’s work as they create shapes and shadows that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

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